Anne Hathaway Had to Kiss 10 Guys for an Audition. Gross!

Thank goodness times have (somewhat) changed. Oscar winner Anne Hathaway recalled that earlier in her career she would sometimes have to kiss up to 10 men who were auditioning to work opposite her in a movie. Which seems…not ideal.

“Back in the 2000s—and this did happen to me—it was considered normal to ask an actor to make out with other actors to test for chemistry,” Hathaway told V Magazine.

What she’s referring to, a “chemistry test,” is still a common practice, though nowadays it typically involves just doing a regular scene with someone on camera, and the kissing can be saved for maybe the final round of auditions, if it ever needs to come to that. You don’t make someone kiss everyone. As Hathaway notes, testing for chemistry with make-outs is “actually the worst way to do it.”

“I was told, ‘We have 10 guys coming today and you’re cast. Aren’t you excited to make out with all of them?’” Hathaway recalled. “And I thought, Is there something wrong with me? because I wasn’t excited. I thought it sounded gross.”

In this situation the actor already had the role but still felt pressured. She worried that if she put up boundaries, she might be replaced.

“I was so young and terribly aware how easy it was to lose everything by being labeled ‘difficult,’ so I just pretended I was excited and got on with it,” Hathaway said.

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L. Cohen

The Idea of You star noted that this was not a case of exploitation but simply a Hollywood norm that needed to be challenged. “It wasn’t a power play; no one was trying to be awful or hurt me,” she said. “It was just a very different time and now we know better.”

Anne Hathaway also credits an early role with helping her advocate for herself in other parts of the filmmaking process.

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